|Models demonstrate KT Corp.’s early Internet device HiTEL and the latest Giga Internet technology at KT Olleh Square on Thursday. (KT Corp.)|
KT Corp., the nation’s largest telecom firm, is readying to usher in “GiGAtopia,” a mobile environment connected through superfast gigabit technology, as it marks the 20th anniversary of providing the first Internet service in South Korea.
Since KT provided KORNET for the first time in the nation in June 1994, South Korea has grown into a country with the highest percentage of Internet users. The Internet speed has also increased 10,000-fold to 100Mbps from 9.6Kbps in 1999.
KT was also the nation’s first mobile carrier to launch Apple’s iPhone in 2009. This was possible because the company had previously launched the mobile Internet Wibro technology here. Since then, the number of Korean smartphone users has fast increased to stand at 38 million as of April.
The company is now preparing for a new Giga Internet era where more diverse devices such as home appliances and electronic devices can be connected to each other. In light of this trend, the company recently predicted that the Internet of Things market would grow to 30 trillion won ($29 billion) by 2020 from 2.3 trillion won in 2013.
KT chief executive Hwang Chang-gyu said last month the company would invest 4.5 trillion won over the next three years to improve its Giga Internet infrastructure.
As the first step in this direction, KT plans to unveil Giga Internet, which is 10 times faster than the current Internet network, in the second half of this year.
Further, the company is now gearing up for Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6, which is the latest version of Internet Protocol that can be used to provide IP addresses for smartphones or electronic appliances.
Last week, KT began providing the IPv6 service to its corporate clients for the first time by hooking up with overseas networks. The service provides 40GB speed and an almost unlimited number of IP addresses, compared to other carriers’ IPv4, which provides up to 4.3 billion Internet addresses.
“Currently, the service is used for wired networks, but it will be expanded to apply for LTE networks in the second half of this year,” KT official said.
By Shin Ji-hye (email@example.com)